Event Detail

Thu Nov 10, 2011
Howison Library, 4:10–6 PM
Graduate Research Colloquium
Joseph Barnes (University of California, Berkeley)
Knowledge is Teachable

Socrates claims, in the Meno and Protagoras, that all and only knowledge is teachable. But what does that mean? I argue that a strong reading of Socrates’ claim best fits the text: all and only knowers are capable of teaching. Commentators have not been inclined to adopt this reading, in part because Socrates makes some confusing claims about teaching in the Meno, and in part because the strong reading seems implausible. But this apparent implausibility does not show that Socrates is wrong about knowledge, as we typically understand it. Instead, I suggest, the lesson is that Socrates has insight into something other than knowledge as we typically understand it.